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Delayed postoperative gastric emptying following intrathecal morphine and intrathecal bupivacaine.PURPOSE: A decrease in the rate of gastric emptying can delay resumption of enteral feeding, alter bioavailability of orally administered drugs, and result in larger residual gastric volumes, increasing the risk of nausea and vomiting. We compared the effects of 1) intrathecal bupivacaine (17.5 mg) and 2) the combination of intrathecal morphine (0.6 mg) and intrathecal bupivacaine (17.5 mg) on the rate of gastric emptying in patients undergoing elective hip arthroplasty. METHODS: Twenty four fasting ASA 1-3 patients were randomly assigned, in a double blind manner, to receive intrathecal hyperbaric bupivacaine (17.5 mg), either alone (group 1), or followed by intrathecal morphine (0.6 mg) (group 2). Gastric emptying was measured (using an acetaminophen absorption technique), twice in each patient; preoperatively, and approximately one hour postoperatively. Gastric emptying parameters are: AUC (area under the plasma acetaminophen concentration time curve), maximum plasma acetaminophen concentration (Cmax), and time to Cmax (tCmax), analyzed using paired Student's t tests. RESULTS: Gastric emptying rates were reduced in both group 1 (AUC = 14.98 (3.8) and 11.05 (4.6) pre- and postoperatively, respectively) and group 2 (AUC = 13.93 (3.59) and 6.4 (3.42) pre- and postoperatively, respectively); the magnitude of the reduction was greater in group 2 [AUC (P = 0.04), Cmax (P = 0.05), tCmax (P = 0.13)]. CONCLUSION: The combination of intrathecal morphine (0.6 mg) and intrathecal bupivacaine (17.5 mg) delays gastric emptying postoperatively.
Determinants of learning to perform spinal anaesthesia: a pilot study.BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: This study examined attitudes and views held by stakeholders regarding their experience of training in spinal anaesthesia. The aim was to identify key factors related to learning and teaching processes which were perceived to influence the acquisition of competence in spinal anaesthesia. METHODS: The study was carried out at a busy acute tertiary referral teaching hospital over a period of 1 yr. It applied a qualitative research approach in three phases, namely (i) completion of preliminary questionnaires, (ii) completion of focused questionnaires and (iii) focus group discussions. RESULTS: Five factors were perceived to be critical 'determinants of learning': (i) the existence of a formal, structured training programme; (ii) time constraints/theatre efficiency; (iii) trainer-trainee interaction; (iv) patient safety/trainee/trainer stressors; and (v) visualization of the anatomy and procedure. CONCLUSION: The study highlighted the need for a formal and structured training programme in spinal anaesthesia, through which many of the undesirable and discouraging factors (such as stress, adverse trainer-trainee interaction and time constraints) identified in the study could be minimized. Further studies are needed to validate the results in other hospital settings, as well as to define the relative importance of each of the proposed determinants and their interrelationships.